There are some censorship in China that you should take into account when traveling. China is a country with many tourist attractions, an ancient culture and with friendly people who will not refuse to help you when you arrive.
Despite that, there are some things you should not do on your trip to China to avoid having a bad time. From things you shouldn’t carry in your suitcase to strange things you shouldn’t do (like filming yourself eating a banana).
Here we tell you about all the censorship in China (also for tourists) that you should take into account before leaving on a trip.
Let’s get started!
These are some restrictions that seem unbelievable, but can cause you problems if carried out.
- Recording yourself eating a banana.
- Entering into a homosexual relationship in an open manner.
- Lewis Carroll’s literature, like “Alice in Wonderland”.
- Celebrate April Fools’ Day.
- Celebrities like Brad Pitt or Justin Bieber.
- Use Microsoft Windows.
- Someone claim to be the reincarnation of the new Dalai Lama. This is because of the serious conflict between China and Tibet, it should be noted that the Dalai Lama is the leader of the Tibetan administration.
- See the movie Avatar, where it is argued that his story is an allegory favorable to the American army.
- Showing men with pierced ears and jewelry as well as tattoos on cameras.
- Scenes of sex, nudity, violence (death, blood) or with homosexual content in audiovisual material.
WHAT CAN’T YOU DO IN CHINA?
- Committing at least 55 crimes. Well, they could pay for it with the death penalty. They’re so strict that there are between 3,000 and 5,000 executions a year.
- Surfing the Internet. At least not as if you were at home. Due to the strict censorship in China of freedom of the press, ideology and expression, the Internet is controlled almost entirely.
- Gambling. Whether in casinos, sports, or any other type of activity that involves gambling. Only in Macao, an autonomous region, will you be able to gamble and find places that do.
- Watch some foreign movies. Essentially Hollywood, but not all of them, the Chinese government has banned a list. Also, at least 30 films are allowed to be shown annually, which are usually reissued by a group of government censors.
- Buy books, e-books or videos. There is also a filter, both what we indicate in the title of this point, even in streaming platforms such as DisneyLife. iBook Store is also prohibited.
FORBIDDEN ITEMS IN YOUR SUITCASE TO CHINA
Here are some items you can’t get in or out of China.
- Batteries or lithium batteries.
- More than 20 thousand yuan (2540.75 euros) in cash.
- Counterfeit coins or banknotes.
- Flammable solids such as coal, matches or lighters.
- Sharp or edged objects (ice picks, razors, razor blades).
- Radio transmitters and receivers.
- Any audiovisual content that is harmful to the politics, economy, culture and ethnicity of China and the Chinese Government.
- Drugs that create dependency.
- Flammable liquids such as gasoline, paints or solvents.
- Unsanitary or germ-carrying food products.
- Live animals, except for dogs and cats.
- Food or medicine from epidemic areas.
PRODUCTS THAT REQUIRE PERMISSION IN CHINA
These are some things that you can bring but you must declare or pay some kind of tax.
- Precious metals, pearls and jewels.
- Items valued at over 2,000 yuan (254.07 euros).
- Powder substances exceeding 12oz/350ml/350gr.
- 1,500ml or more of alcohol with 12% alcohol or more.
- 400 or more cigarette units.
- 100 or more units of cigars, and 500 grams or more of tobacco.
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Fill out a baggage declaration form and submit it to customs. You must have a copy to show on your way out.
WHAT IF I COME IN WITH SOMETHING ILLEGAL?
They’ll confiscate it and start an investigation. If you’ve been brought in through Customs and discovered, the consequences will be worse.
IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE TO TRADITIONAL SOCIAL NETWORKS IN CHINA?
As we mentioned above, the Internet is banned, and unless you have a VPN (an app that will allow you to freely access the Internet in China), you might consider creating an account and accessing Chinese counterparts on social networks and search engines, ideal for a traveler who wants to stay in this country for a while.
- WeChat, in the absence of WhatsApp.
- QQ, for lack of Snapchat.
- Youku or TuDouWan, for lack of YouTube.
- RenRenWan or KaiXinWan, for lack of Facebook.
- Weibo, for lack of Twitter.
HOW DO I USE WHATSAPP, INSTAGRAM AND FACEBOOK IN CHINA?
If you don’t get used to the apps they use in China, you might as well use the ones you already know, only you’ll need a data SIM card with VPN that allows you to freely access the internet in China.
You can buy the VPN data SIM card from country in Holafly with free shipping. It will arrive at your home so that you can take it in your suitcase and activate it as soon as the plane lands in China, so you will be connected from the first moment without having to change your whatsApp number because you can keep your number and use all your social networks as if you were in Spain.
Holafly offers you the SIM card with VPN at a very good price, with a special discount and FREE SHIPPING.
For being a Travelistos reader buying here you get a 5% discount
NO ONE MUST KNOW I HAVE A VPN INSTALLED?
As mentioned above, a VPN is an app that will allow you to access the Internet despite censorship. The problem arises here: using this type of apps, which bypasses a ban ordered by the Chinese government, would be a fault (using a VPN is not illegal, but some VPNs and their use would be). In other words, using a VPN on your mobile, or any other device, has censorship in China.
So we recommend that you should bring a SIM card that already comes with the built-in VPN, but if you prefer to hire a traditional VPN which you must download the APP is better not to show your devices or phones to any police, authority or person who may expose this situation. If you are going to install a VPN, ideally you should hide it from your main screen, in any case.
AND WHAT HAPPENS IN HONG KONG AND MACAO?
As these two regions are autonomous, the restrictions and prohibitions are different. As for the basic restrictions on airlines from any customs office, they remain. China’s exclusive censorship (e.g. audio-visual material that would prejudice the Chinese government) would only apply in mainland China, not in Hong Kong or Macao.
Learn more travel tips for China